Made for love
I want a new life
Photo: JOHN P JOHNSON / HBO Max
What kind of person would marry a guy she had just met and then never leave the technical palace / prison he had been building for ten years? This episode is an opportunity for our show to prove to us that the origin of this whole story is plausible enough for us to be able to move on. And unlike a CERTAIN series, I won’t mention by name, but will simply link up here Made for love makes a pretty convincing case.
We already know that Hazel is from this shitty town, that her mom died, that her dad was very drunk. Some basic fields were checked, why: why would a girl want to get out of here. But there must be more, yes? What was so appealing about Byron from the jump? It’s time to find out!
Ten years ago, Hazel was a pretty meager little crowd. We see her running a clever scam outside of Gogol’s event where Byron will speak: by selling lottery tickets to win a phone she’s never seen and doesn’t have. Genius! Who is watching this from afar? Byron. What interests me is that all of Hazel’s qualities that make Byron attracted to him – feelings of mischief, self-confidence, hunger for other people – are also things that are obviously and completely incompatible with the life he wants for her (trapping her in a terrarium of dice) odorless, controlling and / or observing her every movement and thought). But all Byron says is that he loves her art of deception and that in fact his lecture is precisely on this topic: spotting opportunities and understanding human desire.
You know what else I like about this? It reminds me a bit of Crazy ex-girlfriend, in that all kinds of romantic comedies / sexy big gestures are needed – come with me to Rome, tonight! I’m a stranger, but I really am see you! – and reveals them for really creepy and deeply disturbing behavior as they are or would be if someone did it in real life. Byron asks her for dinner in Rome and tells her she won’t need a passport because he’s with her. Oh, and he already knows her full name. Extremely colorful, but she’s too intrigued (and desperate, I think) to not go. Like, you can see how excited she would be about it.
Knowing what we’re doing on this first date, clothing seems like an even more wild choice, though we’ll find out its origins over time. Hazel appears to this terrifying oversized truck guarded by Lyle, just as I write in my notes he will surely kill her there,, he asks, “Will they kill me there?” Great question, Hazel. Did she tell anyone where she was going tonight? Unclear! Lyle says Byron puts all his murders on his hands, ha, ha, ha!
Inside the truck is a virtual reality Rome. This is the part that is a bit awkward on TV and I’m very interested in how it works in a book – because on TV it doesn’t look so different from what it is, like a very powerful green screen. (And I’m dying to find out if there’s a smell in the truck or the food is kind of tasteless because it doesn’t smell like anything!) Byron tells Hazel that the dress suits her, even though we know I’ll never be allowed to dress like this ever again.
Going back to the present, Hazel’s father presents her with an analysis of the cost of staying with him. All families are weird about money in their own way, and that’s weird because of this family: With his daughter who’s obviously in crisis – “DO I NOT HAVE MONEY? what you should pay for rent. Divorces are long and expensive, honey. And they’re probably neurosurgeons, too. He agrees to his reasonable price ($ 200 a month, an amazing offer) and deviates only slightly from his second request, which is to treat Diane with respect. There are a few questions about the arrangement (“do you take a bite out of her food and then pretend she ate it?”), And I understand, but also, no offense, this is the real situation with pots and teapots, re: Hazel criticizing someone unconventional and problematic relationship dynamics!
At the hub, Byron sits lying down and watches the Hazel show. He’ll tell Bennett to make her a scent cube. Honestly, the whole thing about Byron and the smell is so funny to me and it will never stop being funny to me. Just delivery “It’s good, it’s good, what is it?” “… It’s glass” “It’s LOVE” completely killed me. Plus plus, Billy Magnussen. His overly literal interpretation of her needs is just perfect. As far as he’s concerned, this is all proof that the chip works! “Look how much more I know about her!” He says. “I think this process has really brought us closer.”
Hazel uses her artist skills to steal a bunch of cell phones outside of yoga classes (“Digital Detox Today! Namaste!” Okay, so she’s a genius) and sell them at a pawn shop. In the aforementioned pawnshop, she encounters her past: Bangles, a former best friend and design student who lent Hazel that green dress she needed for the final grade (!), For Hazel to love her for ten years. The intensity with which she screams, “We’re gonna fucking CATCH,” is perfect. I love how banana Hazel’s trouble sounds to everyone outside of it. “I didn’t have a phone.” “Ohhh, Mrs. Gogol didn’t have a phone ?!”
Bennett comes to the pawn shop because Byron agreed that it would be so nice for Hazel to participate in the process of creating a cube of scent. Bangles intervenes (names Lotta B in this show, hmm) and drives him out. In this process, she begins to see what is what. Old Hazel wouldn’t take shit from this little red-haired boy. What happened?
Hazel brings Bangles home, to his father’s horror – “I guess they let you out of jail, huh?” he says, measuring her. “I hope I never see you again!” Hazel and Bangles are on good terms again, now that Bangles understands what happened. Besides, Hazel hadn’t hung out with a friend for literally a decade and was so relieved that she was behaving normally.
Back in the center, Byron says that Hazel will not return despite his generosity, re: the smell of the cube. Oh, too, says Fiffany, he revoked Zelda’s privileges in the pool. “I’m going to eat it.” Oh no! Also, Lyle has really become a rogue – at least, Byron really doesn’t know where he is and wants to find and kill him. Meanwhile, Byron will learn how to address Hazel on her terms, which means she has to drink beer. Bennett says he and Byron can practice “socializing the way people do where she’s from,” like … Earth? Bennett’s cuttlefish is like 90 percent foam. (They also have an exchange around donut holes and Bennett’s inability to get her one that cracked me.)
Meanwhile, Fiffany has switched to private mode in her hot-pink lab. She sends a message to Herringbone: “If you’re out and alive, we need a new plan.” Then he pulled out the screen of all the tanks. Lots of dolphins! But where is Zelda? I’m worried about Zelda! Then Byron tells Fiffany that if Hazel doesn’t come back in 48 hours, he’ll STOP. The merger will probably kill Hazel, but Byron doesn’t care about this; he will keep Hazel alive forever … in his palace of the mind.
In Hazel’s house Bangles moon Hazel now that he realizes that Byron sees everything Hazel sees. Hazel encourages this: “HATE cigarette butts!” Dad’s advice: “Don’t get involved. So don’t deal with daffodils. ”Then Bangles reminded Hazel of a secret fictional language they used as little children that Byron can’t understand, so they finally have a way of communicating without him knowing what’s going on. Unbelievable! Dad understands that too. “Why do you think I want you out of my house?” says Bangles.
Now we are back in time, to the first meeting of Byron and Hazel. Again, everything he does here is like superficial romanticism, but obviously actually intimidating – how does he have access to her bank account ?! If he can invest money, he can withdraw money! – but she’s broken. Her joy at his ability to snap his fingers and make the truck / cube seem like any other place she mentions is pretty convincing, although, again, on TV it doesn’t really look like much? It is located in the screen saver. But this is the happiest thing we’ve seen on this show. The way she says PENGUINS conveys much more joy than her alleged five-star orgasm did.
Byron tells Hazel that he can say they are the same: People who are not where they should be. I want to grab Hazel by the shoulders again and be like, Girl, you’re in the truck … you didn’t leave the truck, but she’s all wrapped up in it and hates her life, and he says it’s because she’s a super-special girl that no one cared about before and he GETS it, he built the whole world with all the best things in it ( but without cinnamon ???). He asks her to marry him, and she says YES and maybe she should call her father ?? He’s like, No, we have to go right now this second. YOU DON’T HAVE TO MAKE THIS OTHER LESENIK, I shout to no one, and the truck drives them into the night.